The Sunday readings provide us with an opportunity to reflect on “Choose Life!”, the theme for this year’s Day for Life.  The reflection below was prepared by the Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth.

The First Reading comes from the Creation Account in Genesis 2-3. It reminds us of the beauty and sanctity of human life as part of the gift of God’s creation. In chapter 1 of Genesis, God has already proclaimed that he is author of the life of every person, who is formed in his image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26-28). Every human life therefore has a sacred and inviolable character and no one can, in any circumstance, claim the right to directly destroy an innocent human being.

The Response to the Psalm is ‘May the Lord bless us all the days of our Life’. As we celebrate our annual Day for Life, we ask the Lord to bless us with a sense of the wonder and preciousness of our life and the life of others, from the first of moment of conception, to natural death.

From the moment of conception, every human life is beautiful, every human life is precious and every human life is sacred. From the first moment of conception a new, unique and genetically complete human being comes into existence. From that moment onwards, we did not grow and develop into a human being, but grew and developed as a human being.

The Gospel shows Jesus welcoming the little children to him; today we place all children, including those waiting to be born into the loving care of Jesus. Any mother or father who has gazed in wonder at an ultrasound scan of their baby, or heard his or her heart beating for the first time, will know how rapid and beautiful is the development of their baby in the womb. They will know that their baby does not suddenly become a human being at birth. And they will know that the daughter or son now present before them as an infant or teenager is the same human life, the same human child they saw in that first scan.

The child in the womb is not a ‘potential’ life, but a human life with potential – a precious and God-given potential that all of us, whether as parents, nurses, midwives, doctors, politicians, lawyers, citizens or voters, are called to respect and protect.